There are concerns about the life expectancy of Singaporeans and the necessity of more donors to step forward to donate blood in order to save lives. In the past, veteran blood donors who donated blood in the past for at least twice during a period of 6 months were issued a green card that allowed them to enjoy some medical subsidies or privileges.
No doubts such benefits are helpful in the promotion of regular blood donation.
Donating blood can be viewed as a service to mankind.
Besides helping save precious lives here and abroad when blood transfusions are needed in relief efforts during natural disasters, altruistic blood donors can reap benefits to their own health when donating blood. According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, blood viscosity is known to be a unifying factor for the risk of cardiovascular disease. By donating blood on a regular basis, donors eliminate the iron that may possibly oxidize in their blood. An increase in oxidative stress can be damaging to the cardiovascular system. On top of that, blood donation reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Perhaps a revised scheme could be put in place in which regular blood donors could be rewarded for their community spirit. For example, the Ministry of Health (MOH) could introduce a 3-tier medical subsidy for regular donors which include a Basic, Standard and Superior level scheme. Basic level is for donors who give blood 2 times a year; Standard level is for those who give blood 4 times a year and Superior level is for anyone who makes blood donations 8 or more times a year. To cut down on unnecessary paperwork and the issuance of cards, all contributions from veteran blood donors can be scanned into the identity card of the donor.
It is good that we are having periodic blood donation drives organized by some Community Centres here in Singapore. But I hope that more such drives can be held in all government agencies, statutory boards, and government-linked companies; and in the armed forces annually or bi-yearly so that there is sufficient stock to meet any demands.
Recognition of these voluntary donors could be appreciated by the Ministry of Health at an annual gathering with Superior donors receiving plaques and all dedicated donors getting a Certificate of Appreciation. Such an event should be carried by the media as the publicity generated can spur more people to donate blood.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO
PROFILE OF THE WRITER
Raymond Anthony Fernando is a motivational speaker, poet, author, trainer, songwriter, freelance television actor, ghostwriter, media celebrity, regular newspaper forum page writer and an advocate for the mentally ill.
He is a volunteer with the Institute of Mental Health. The author of 32 books was married to Doris Lau Siew Lang, herself an author of 8 books. Doris was called to the Lord in April 2014. This Model Caregiver 2007 and Mental Health Champion 2010, who is born on Valentine’s Day, has contributed 31 years of service to the public sector, 15 years of experience in public relations work, and received several awards and commendations from government organisations.
Raymond attributes his success to his beloved wife, Doris, who has always been his greatest inspiration.